Holiday CSR Activities

December, 2011

Giving Tree 2011The month of November was a busy one for CSR  activities at Toray Composites America (TCA). TCA held a donations drive for the United Way, a gift drive for the Bethel School District Giving Tree, and associates participated in the Tacoma City Marathon Association Santa Run. TCA associates’ generosity towards these organizations was impressive.

Many associates kicked off their holiday shopping early this year with a Giving Tree to benefit children in the Bethel School District. TCA associates and company matching provided holiday gifts for 125 local children and teenagers. Ten employees then wrapped and decorated the gifts expertly with ribbons and bows. The United Way pledge drive was a huge success, with associate pledges totaling more than $24,000. Nearly 100 employees signed up to donate via check or payroll deduction.

Fifteen TCA associates participated in the Tacoma Santa Run on December 17th, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County. In addition to associate registration fees, TCA donated an additional sum to the Humane Society for each TCA registered runner or walker. Such overwhelming participation in these activities reflects a general attitude of community spirit amongst TCA associates.

Secretary of State Corporations for Communities Honorable Mention

November 2, 2011

Dennis & SOS ReedSecretary of State Sam Reed held a  luncheon to honor two companies with National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) medallion recipients and twelve honorable mentions for the 2011 Corporations for Communities awards. Sterling Savings Bank in Spokane and Korsmo Construction of Tacoma received NASS medallions for community service from large and small business categories.

Toray Composites America (TCA) Vice President Dennis Frett travelled to Olympia to accept an honorable mention certificate. Reed has dedicated his third term to civic involvement, and has awarded each of Washington’s two annual National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) medallions since 2009 to civic-minded corporations. Reed chose to honor community service with the medallions, the highest honor awarded by his office, because of the level to which corporations continue to give to communities during these economically challenging times.

Corporate Social Responsibility is central to Toray’s business activities. It was an honor to be recognized amongst these fourteen community-focused organizations from a state-wide pool of nominees. TCA is pleased to commend its staff, who enjoy every opportunity to contribute to the community.

TCA Begins New Battery Recycling Program

October, 2011

In the spirit of Corporate Social Responsibility and as a service to associates, Toray Composites America (TCA) has established battery recycling stations in three locations on the company premises. Associates can now recycle the following types of batteries at work:

  • Alkaline (D, C, AA, AAA)
  • Ni Cad (Nickel cadmium)
  • Lithium Ion
  • Nickel Metal Hydride
  • Button batteries (watch, hearing aid, etc.)

This program is for associates and their households only, not a business, school or other collection effort. Batteries contain environmentally-hazardous chemicals. Battery recycling is available at some local retail outlets, but many locations are inconvenient and household batteries still end up in landfills. This initiative intends to assist associates in reducing environmental exposure to hazardous household waste.

Associates "Stuff The Bus" For Tacoma Communities in Schools

July 31, 2011

StB DonationsToray Composites America (TCA)  associates kicked off the company picnic on July 31st with donations to the Tacoma Communities in Schools “Stuff the Bus” program. The program collects school supplies throughout the Tacoma/Pierce area and provides the supplies to area children in need.

TCA associates brought donations to the company picnic on July 31st and continued to donate at work until August 18th, when the supplies were collected in a school bus by Communities in Schools volunteers. Donations filled three large boxes and included supplies such as complete backpacks, spiral notebooks, lined notebook paper, crayons, pens, pencils, and glue sticks. School supply drives are an annual event at TCA, but once again the generosity of TCA associates exceeded expectations.

Many associates donated multiple items, and total donations filled boxes the equivalent of six cartons of paper. The program was extended through the pickup date at the request of associates who were unable to donate at the company picnic.

A Special Week of CSR

June 24 to July 1 2011

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, TCA organized a special CSR program for associates to participate in community service activities on June 27th, 30th, and July 1st. CSR projects included landscaping and building repairs at Nisqually Valley Care Center, a residential care facility; Gateways for Youth and Families, a family support network; the local YMCA; and beach cleanup at Commencement Bay Wildlife habitats with Citizens for a Healthy Bay.

Over 120 TCA associates volunteered from June 27th through July 1st with these four different area organizations. All enjoyed contributing to the community and learning about the organizations to which they were donating their time. A few enjoyed special attention from the Tacoma News Tribune and Pierce County TV.

35 Associates Restore Section of Coastline

June 24, 2011

beachAs part of TCA’s special week dedicated to  activities, thirty-five TCA associates spent Monday, June 24th restoring Commencement Bay habitats with Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB). Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB) engages citizens to clean up, restore and protect Commencement Bay, its surrounding waters and natural habitat.

CHB is a 21 year old nonprofit environmental organization working side-by-side with local citizens, businesses and government to prevent water pollution and make our community more sustainable.

TCA cleanup activities included removing Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry growing in a restored section. Jamie L reported that beach cleanup was not what she expected, but felt they were making progress removing Scotch Broom, which is considered a Class B Noxious Weed by Washington State. Half a dozen associates removed ivy just a few feet from a bee’s nest. The ivy seemed endlessly interconnected. According to Carol L, “I started pulling one root, and then the next thing I knew there were 12 of them.”

Associates especially liked learning about CHB. John C said he didn’t understand what natural habitat restoration was before working on Commencement Bay and admires CHB’s goal of connecting 19 restored beaches along the shoreline.

Associates Paint Railings, Walls, and Fingernails at Nisqually Valley Care Center

June 27, 2011

nvcc gifOver thirty associates worked on a number of  projects at the Nisqually Valley Care Center (NVCC). Projects included exterior painting, repairs, landscaping, as well as interior painting and quality time with residents.

TCA associates weren’t swayed by the gloomy weather, and continued cleaning up branches and leaves as it started to rain. Eventually, the rain drove them inside, where care center residents must have noticed TCA associates’ skill with a paint brush, because they soon requested help with an impromptu manicure session.

The professional staff at Nisqually Valley Care Center (NVCC) designs care plans according to individual and family needs. The facility is surrounded by trees and flowers, a lush lawn, white picket fence and the serene sound of the Nisqually River flowing past. Each day is made special by engaging activities; interaction with a lively family of cats, birds, and other wildlife inspires residents and visitors alike. Clinical services range from post-surgical care (skilled nursing) to wound care and pain management. The NVCC is Medicare and Medicaid certified and has contractual agreements with managed care plans and hospice agencies.

Associates Make Repairs and Headlines at YMCA

June 27 - July 1, 2011

ymca gifOver 40 associates from TCA  community service at the YMCA of Pierce County in Puyallup, Washington. Associates performed several tasks to improve the appearance inside and outside of the YMCA. Some worked on the construction of a new exterior wall outside of the sports park, while others painted inside the facility around the second floor track.

The team accomplished a great deal in the short amount of time and received the thanks of the YMCA. TCA was recognized in the business section of The Tacoma News Tribune during this community event. Additionally, Pierce County Television interviewed several associates including Sonie Hagberg and Luke Nilo, who shared the positive impact that the community service had on them and their fellow associates and how they enjoyed providing service to the community.

TCA’s CSR projects at the YMCA promoted a strong sense of pride and accomplishment throughout the organization. TCA continues to show that it is a great place to work and that it is part of the community.

TCA Washes Cars for South Sound Parent to Parent

July 1, 2011

CW signDuring TCA’s special week of CSR activities, in   addition to off-site activities, TCA associates donated to have their car cleaned by volunteer coworkers. Associates and vendors donated almost $700 to have their cars washed on the premises over the course of three days.

Donations benefited South Sound Parent to Parent (SSP2P), a local nonprofit which provides a network of support to families who have children with special needs. Their programs include a special “Birth to Three” program to help families with young children, but their services provide support to families with children of all ages.

TCAassociate Anthony B. suggested SSP2P as the recipient of the car wash donations after having read about the organization at a community event. All TCA associates did a great job washing cars and promoted the event throughout company departments.

TCA Recognized for Donation to Local Hospital

May, 2011

photo opThanks to donations from Toray Composites America, children will have a more comfortable experience when they visit the new Emergency Department at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Wash. Good Samaritan has a reputation for providing compassionate care to many people in the local community, and TCA hopes that Toray’s donation to Good Samaritan Hospital will inspire pride in both employees and community members.

The region’s premier Level 3 trauma center, Good Samaritan serves as the health care hub for a growing area of more than 300,000 people. Good Samaritan is part of the not-for-profit MultiCare Health System, a leading-edge health organization made up of four hospitals, many integrated clinics, multi-specialty centers and 9,300 employees. Good Samaritan’s Emergency Department serves more patients than any other hospital in Pierce County, with more than 63,000 visits in 2010.      

In February 2011, Good Samaritan’s modern new Emergency Department opened as part of a 357,000-square-foot, nine-level tower and enables the hospital staff to treat more patients with more advanced medical technology in a calming environment. The facility includes spacious patient rooms, robotic-assisted operating rooms and specialty service areas. The overall design incorporates features intended to cope with Mass Casualty Incidents (MCI) such as a volcanic eruption or earthquake.

These upgrades provide the new facility with the capability to provide better care for TCA employees and the community. In addition to 46 private treatment rooms and four triage rooms, the new Emergency Department features separate waiting areas for children and adults.

That’s where Toray’s donation makes a difference. Through five annual donations, TCA donated child-sized furnishings and a computer game kiosk for the children’s emergency waiting area, which is secluded from the emotionally charged area of ER admission and triage. In addition to featuring our company name on the home page of the game kiosk, Toray Composites America is listed on two prominently displayed contributors’ plaques. TCA has been pleased to contribute to organizations in the local area such as schools, food banks and the hospital. Fundraising and donation activities are strengthening the community and increasing civic recognition of the company name.

TCA is proud to have contributed locally and to have supported the continued growth and well-being of the Tacoma, Washington area.   

Guide Dog Update

May, 2011

Guide Dog updateIn April 2009, the staff at TCA opened their doors and hearts to Pace, a yellow lab puppy TCA associate Cheryl Norris raised for Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB). GDB is a non-profit organization which breeds, raises, and trains guide dogs to enhance mobility to qualified individuals.

There is no cost to guide dog recipients, so the organization operates on donations and the work of volunteers. Pace spent 10 months going to work at TCA and running errands, as well as attending baseball games and camping trips with the Norris family.

In February 2010, Pace moved to another raiser’s home for fine tuning. In July of 2010, Pace made the recall list for intensive Guide Dog training in Boring, Oregon. Following his formal guide work training, Pace graduated in December 2010 and was matched with a retired Catholic priest, Patrick. Patrick lives in Baton Rouge, LA; Pace is Patrick’s first guide dog.

Since graduation, Pace has gone everywhere with Patrick, including graduate-level classes as Patrick pursues his Master’s degree. According to Patrick, in addition to accompanying him to college classes, Pace has: Visited the Catholic chapel at LSU, restaurants, doctors' offices, stores, the state library, and several churches. Pace has ridden many buses and is always careful to enthusiastically greet the bus driver; he has been on TV twice - local channel news and for Mass; he’s been photographed and appeared in the local newspaper twice and attended the Metro Council, the Downtown Development district, civic associations meetings, priests' meetings; he has slept through several concerts curled up under the pew. Wherever he goes, Pace receives numerous compliments about his behavior and looks.

All of us here at TCA are pleased to have contributed in any small way to the development of Pace for his eventual training and service as a Guide Dog for the Blind, and we’re thrilled to hear that Pace and Patrick are getting along so well. Even more, Pace’s presence here at TCA taught us about guide dogs and the valuable work that they do.

Associates Raise $8,000 for Red Cross

March, 2011

On March 11th, 2011, Japan was struck by an earthquake and resulting tsunami as well as extensive aftershock quakes. As a result of the devastation and loss of life, Toray Industries of Japan pledged to support reconstruction efforts, including the donation of materials for temporary shelter, water filtration, etc, as well as financial contributions to the Japanese Red Cross.

In response to the outpouring of employee concern, Toray Composites America arranged a fundraiser for the American Red Cross and pledged to match associate contributions. For the month of April, associates made donations to the American Red Cross at work. TCA associates donated $8,000 with company matching. TCA associates’ generosity will provide much-needed assistance to those still recovering from the terrible effects of the earthquake and tsunami.